When the Husband is Away, the Catastrophes Will Play

It is a well-known fact that whenever a husband travels, all hell breaks loose at home.

Tom has missed a broken nose, tonsil surgery, puke-a-thons, blizzards, Missy chewing a battery, Junior dislocating his arm (again), me spraining both ankles while at Curves  — you name it.

And even though he is in a different time zone, it is always his fault.

So it should really be of no surprise that during his last trip, Missy went to a “sewing party” at her friend’s house and ended up in the ER. You may immediately/logically think she must have stuck one helluva a needle through her finger. Oh nooooooooooo. The girls took a break from their five-hour sewing session/sweatshop shift to let out a little steam on the trampoline. Flip. Flop. Splat. Missy landed on her neck on the metal part of the trampoline and hurt her back.

The nice, fun mom called right away and gave me a heads up. Missy insisted on staying, but when I got her home, she was really upset and couldn’t bend. The pediatrician said to head over the ER for X-rays to be on the safe side.  As I’ve mentioned before, we live one house away from our community hospital – you can’t park closer than where we live.

One of Our Favorite Hot Spots

This has come in very handy when your husband has kidney stones, a blown Achilles or herniated disc. Or when your daughter breaks your nose with her head. Or when she ingests lead paint and prescription drugs (separate occasions). Or when you accidentally dislocate your son’s elbow. Or when your dad has a rib bone lodged in his throat and starts hacking at the table and everyone is so grossed out yet continues to eat while you nobly walk him to the ER to find out that he will have to stay and have surgery so you end up at top of the Will for at least two days for being such a caring and compassionate daughter.

Well, the hospital is moving and the ER is closing at the end of this week. Imagine our luck that we could hobble over one last time!  And there was no waiting, so they brought Missy in for her vitals while I got her registered. A second later, the doors slide open and this old man comes in yelling, “I’m not an old man!” I catch a glimpse of him and he is holding a blood-drenched towel up to his head. “I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot!”

I am getting pretty woozy as the nurses whisk him away and call for maintenance to come and clean up the red puddles he left behind. I am swallowing the vomit that keeps creeping up the back of my throat. Thank goodness Missy was behind the wall, but she could hear everything and sat there wide-eyed. I lied and said that I am sure that he didn’t get shot. “It’s just a figure of speech.”

Over two hours later and several X-rays, the doc explains that everything looks good, but that she strained her back. Care instructions: ice, ibuprofen, rest and having mom at her beck and call. Get her home, prop her up, run to Walgreens for large refreezable ice packs because the damn ice bag thing we have always leaks. Threw in a Bop magazine and Gatorade for her, picked up Junior from his holding station at his friend’s and got everyone settled on the couch for some quality time together zoned out in front of the TV.

Ten minutes later, I hear the weather alarm sirens and the TV flashes that there is a tornado warning in our area.

“Okay, everyone in the basement, we will watch our show down there!” I exclaim in my fake cheerful voice. “I’ll get your blankets, pillows and snacks. Go grab the flashlights — we’re all good!”

I unload their crap, head back to the kitchen to grab some essentials for me: beer, a tub of Merkt’s cheese and a box of Wheat Thins.

“Nice survival kit, mom,” says Missy.

“You have no idea,” I mutter under my breath.

We continue to watch our show while the wind is howling outside. There are some loud claps of thunder that even I can hear over the crunch of my snacking.

Zap. The power is out.

Tom’s flight is due back first thing in the morning.

There’s no freaking way…

Part two coming up once I sober up>>

Permanent link to this article: http://www.mom-mom-mom.com/2011/06/23/when-the-husband-is-away-the-catastrophes-will-play/


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  1. Traveling Dad

    What are you complaining about? As long as he has direct deposit you should be in good shape!

  2. Karen

    Since we are frequent fliers (and diners), the direct deposit goes to the hospital — not our bank!

  3. Patty

    OMG- If I were you, my injured child would need to tend to me because I’d have passed out from the sight of a bleeding head.
    How can Tom, in good conscience, leave his family behind to attend to work in another state when its clear that all hell breaks loose in his absence????

  4. DW

    So I assume that along with EMH you are moving to the South of town soon? And I thought God only sent you the storm for your blog. When it rains….well, you know.

  5. getbzy8

    This kinda crap ONLY happens to you!!! My suggestion: start taking “me time” walks around the neighborhood strickly for the purpose of meeting and non-chalantly asking every person you encounter, what they do for a living. You NEED to have a paramedic or EMT within running distance from your home! Next time, you can get the free eval. from them, and let THEM decide if it’s worth driving to the other side of town to the ‘new’ ER. My Paramedic brother in law and his EMT girlfriend moved in 2 houses down from us 6 months ago. I CANNOT even begin to tell you how convienient this is. They have IV bags and all! (great for hangovers too) Last night, my 12 year old’s body decides that it is ALL OF A SUDDEN allergic to Mangos, his favorite fruit. Hives everywhere, and of course right on time-Bedtime. He was “seen” within 2 minutes in my kitchen, and NO ER can compare to the convenience of that.

  6. Jennifer

    Hi Karen – I’m new to your blog thanks to “Miss Colleen” my son’s awesome teacher. The last time my husband went away, my son had a concussion that would make him dizzy and then spontaneously puke. This happened in my bed, on the carpet (of which there is only 10 square feet in my house), in line at McDonald’s, and of course all over me. It rained a lot which caused our faulty internet connection to go down and then flooded our crawlspace which then blew out our water heaters leaving us with cold showers and baths. Stuff like this is par for the course when he goes out of town so I now make sure the wine rack is fully stocked before he steps out of the house! Thanks for the laughs!

  7. ChiMomWriter

    Oh good, someone else with the same kind of luck I have. That’s an impressive list of injuries. Glad Missy is okay – but man, did you ever earn that beer!

  8. Karen

    Yeah, Headwound Harry almost put me over the edge!

  9. Karen

    You’re stuck with us. We will still be Northsiders thanks to the Immediate Care that will take the place of the ER.

  10. Karen

    I am beyond jealous of you! I could have used an IV this morning…

  11. Karen

    Welcome to Crazytown, Jennifer! Although it sounds like you have have your own version going on at home. EGADS! You should write a guest post. Cleaning up puke always makes me puke.

    (PS Have you seen this sweet tribute I did about Miss Colleen? I am sure she wouldn’t mind me sharing: http://www.mom-mom-mom.com/2011/01/21/sibling-rilvery/)

  12. Karen

    The craziest part is that they are all the most random accidents. It’s not like we are big athletes or really move much. It’s nuts.

  13. Mary W.

    I can only say that it may always be this way: My husband used to travel: 18 month old got ahold of anti depressants…on the floor? What the heck? Off to the hospital. Kid can’t breath, acute asthma, what’s that, doctor? Concussion in one kid, broken wrist in another kid, within a weeks time…I fall holding the kid, another concussion different kid. Poison control: kid wipes butt with Clorox Wipes…Um is there bleach in those? No, officer, we did not dial 911. Is there children in your house that may have dialed? Let me find them…Yes, officer, it was my child. May we talk with that child…An my personal favorite: 3 Kids under 6, the little one has something in an ear that looks disgusting! We call ER just to get more info, ‘it could be fatal cellulitous’. Great. Off we go…they pull out something with tweezers that looked like a giant brown cottonball! Parenting. Not for the weak.

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